Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will celebrate his 90th birthday Monday, August 21, 2017. A “quiet family affair” will be held in Salt Lake City to celebrate his birthday, according to his daughter, Sister Ann M. Dibb. Family members will gather for lemon cake, ice cream and well wishes for the special occasion.
Recalling one of her father’s favorite birthday celebrations, Sister Dibb said it took place five years ago on his 85th birthday held at the Conference Center. “That was a wonderful tribute which he very much enjoyed, along with my mother.”
The 90-year-old Mormon prophet has provided a lifetime of service. He served as a bishop, member of a stake presidency, mission president and ordained an apostle on October 10, 1963, at the age of 36. This service as an apostle of nearly 54 years makes him one of the longest-serving General Authorities.
“His service has always been a part of our life. Even when he was called to be an apostle, it didn’t seem as though there was much of a change because it seemed like he always served,” said Sister Dibb. “I was blessed because of his service, and the Church was too.”
She added, “My father’s first self-published biography was ‘On the Lord’s Errand.’ That has been his hope throughout his service, especially from the time he was bishop and every calling afterwards.”
To help celebrate President Monson’s birthday, Sister Dibb encourages people to serve others. “Extend kindness and service to others,” she admonished. “If you feel something would be kind, do it. It’s one of the ways my father would find joy is in serving others.”
Senior Church leaders extended birthday wishes to President Monson, including his two counselors, President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, and second counselor, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.
“With all who love him, I wish President Monson greetings on his 90th birthday,” said President Eyring. “His faith and his concern for all of Heavenly Father’s children have brought joy and peace to people across the world. He is the Lord’s prophet, and he is our great example of a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. I am blessed to serve under his inspired leadership.”
President Uchtdorf said, “Harriet and I join millions from around the globe in celebrating the wonderful man and prophet that you are. We have been blessed by your humor and wit, memorable stories, and inspired counsel and messages. Your example of goodness and faith have led us through the decades and will be a guiding star for many years to come.”
“The selfless service he has rendered throughout his life has inspired us all and is a magnificent expression of his deep devotion to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ,” said President Russell M. Nelson, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“One of the many things I love about President Monson is his remarkable ability to tell an engaging story that teaches truth and inspires us to do and be better. His influence has spanned the world yet touched the one through his genuine caring and clear vision,” said Sister Jean B. Bingham, general president of the Relief Society.
“You need to learn how to learn from President Monson,” said his daughter. “He always has a story, but you have to recognize what the lesson is and then apply it or act upon it in your personal life. Some stories may seem simplistic or even humorous, but there is always a lesson to be learned and applied.”
Sister Dibb said that her father always strived to do his best in all his Church assignments. “Each calling prepares you and gives you experiences, which the Lord uses in order to bless others,” she said.
President Monson married Frances Beverly Johnson on October 7, 1948, in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of three children and have eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Sister Monson passed away on May 20, 2013.
“He wouldn’t have been able to do what he did without my mother,” said Sister Dibb, who described her mother as supportive and encouraging. “My mother was blessed and our family was blessed through their service in different ways.” She said her father was in the forefront and her mother would often offer suggestions for his consideration.
Since the passing of her mother, Sister Dibb said some of her favorite experiences with her father have been accompanying him on his many assignments as Church president.
“As he’s gone on personal visits and as he’s given blessings to individuals, I’ve truly felt like I’ve truly been in a sacred place as he expressed his love to others and [them] to him,” she said.
President Monson became the 16th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on February 3, 2008, following the death of President Gordon B. Hinckley. Prior to that, he served as a counselor in the First Presidency under three Church presidents for more than 22 years.